Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Carpenters' Point of View

During my first month or so at Harlaxton my Godparents and their kids came 'round to see the Manor House. We had a great time touring the Manor, and I set up a treasure hunt for the kids with cryptic clues 'from Sherlock Holmes' leading to goody bags...

Run to the Lions!

Anyway, one of the things that struck me was the fact that my godfather, a skilled carpenter, was amazed by the doors and shutters more than anything else in the building. The curved doors in the Gold Room were a particular delight to him, thinking of how those 19th century carpenters managed to make something so precise. He told me that, even with all the modern advances in technology, even with electrical tools and digital measures and access to the best of natures' resources, he wouldn't know where to begin to create curved doors, balanced shutters and intricate panels like the ones in the Manor.

Gold Room

So if you're lucky enough to come to Harlaxton, enjoy the state rooms for what they are: a feat of human creativity, detail and craftmanship. I think with modern factory goods and supermarket lifestyles sometimes we forget that every item, from the steak on your plate to the shoes on your feet, has an origin or creator. Our technology develops but few people are trained to produce these features today: even the smallest details at Harlaxton are, and will probably remain, totally unique.

Great Hall


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